Fiat Panda 4x4 (2012) Review

Looking for a Fiat Panda 4x4 (2012 on)?
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Fiat Panda 4x4 (2012) At A Glance

Improvement in ride comfort. Outstandingly capable off road and in snow. Well equipped. Charming.

Disappointing Real MPG from TwinAir. Relatively expensive. Rear diffs still spring oil leaks.

New prices start from £11,900
Contract hire deals from £170.24 per month
Insurance Groups are between 7–11
On average it achieves 82% of the official MPG figure

The Panda 4x4 is based on the Panda hatchback which was launched in early 2012. It continues a long tradition for small, capable Fiats 4x4s. This latest incarnation of the Panda 4x4 gets a torque on demand transmission system with two differentials which automatically alters the power between the front and rear wheels depending on the level of grip.

Like the previous Panda 4x4, the new model gets a chunkier look than the standard car with black body mouldings round the wheelarches, larger bumpers with underbody protectors at the front and back plus roof rails and unique 15-inch alloy wheels with 175/65 R15 M+S tyres.

Two engines are available and both get start/stop to save fuel. There's an 85PS 0.9 TwinAir Turbo and the 1.3 MultiJet II diesel with 75PS. The TwinAir Turbo has 40% more torque than the 1.2 Fire engine in the old Panda 4x4 which should mean better in-gear performance while the six-speed manual gearbox has a low-range first gear for helping with uphill starts. The downside to that TwinAir engine is that owners report that it can't live up to the claimed fuel economy figures in the real world.

The rear suspension is lighter than before to give better ride comfort and reduce noise while standard equipment includes stability control and an electronic locking differential known as ELD. Designed for slippery conditions such as ice and snow, this brakes the wheels with poor grip and transfers the drive to the wheels with more grip. It's manually switched on and works up to 30mph. Inside there's manual climate control, a CD stereo, electric door mirrors, central locking and rear head restraints.

If you like the 4x4 looks, but don't need the hardward, go for the Panda Trekking, which is offered on the standard hatchback. It's two-wheel drive, but much cheaper.

Fiat Panda Cross Road Test 2014

Looking for a Fiat Panda 4x4 (2012 on)?
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Real MPG average for a Fiat Panda 4x4 (2012)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

82%

Real MPG

34–66 mpg

MPGs submitted

122

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

ASK HJ

I'm looking to replace my Daihatsu Terios - what would be a suitable new car?
I love my Daihatsu Terios, which I have had now for about 10 years. I call it the Tardis as it is deceptively roomy. I'm now looking to buy something similar - high driving position and not too wide or long. I am 70 years old and vertically challenged so I like the seating position of the Terios. Not too confident about parking a bigger vehicle either. I prefer 4/5 door and AWD. I also like the reversing sensors and am looking maybe for an in-car sat-nav. What would you suggest?
A Suzuki Jimny is probably the closest thing you can get to a Terios today. It's not a driving experience that'll be appreciated by everyone, however. Consider a Suzuki Vitara or Fiat Panda 4x4, too.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Is this poor Fiat Engineering - or just bad luck?
My wife bought a Fiat Panda Cross in Dec 2014 on a PCP. By Aug 2015, the rear differential was leaking oil and needed replacing. Over the period of the three year warranty several other issues came up including the replacement of two ECUs and the reconditioning of the turbo. Now seven months after the warranty has expired and four months before the PCP is paid off, the gearbox has started to grind and shakes. The dealership now thinks the car is worth less than I have left to pay on it and tells me that I will need to pay to have the gearbox investigate or replaced if I want to hand the car back. The car has done less than 58,000 miles. Should I expect a Fiat gearbox to last for longer?
Tell the dealer and the finance house that you would prefer to settle the matter in the Small Claims track of the County Court. Basically they have sold you a car that has not even lasted the four year repayment period so cannot be considered "of satisfactory quality" under the Sale of Goods Acts. See: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/consumer-rights/ Rear diff failure is common on Panda 4x4s. But please tell me if this is a TwinAir or a Multijet diesel.
Answered by Honest John
My Fiat has an intermittent steering problem - is Fiat responsible?
I have a Fiat Panda 4x4 which I bought new in 2010. I have had intermittent power failure on the steering. I remember seeing Watchdog some years ago when this seemed to be a common fault with the car. My car has only done 28000 miles i wonder if Fiat should take some responsibility for this repair?
It's fairly common on the 500, Panda, Punto, Alfa MiTo and original Vauxhall Meriva all of which use the same EPAS system. It's caused by holding the steering wheel on full lock which burns out the electric motor.
Answered by Honest John
Is the Fiat Panda 4x4 suitable for tall drivers?
My wife is considering a Fiat Panda 4x4. We have a narrow garage for which it would be ideal; however, I am over six foot in height, with a bad back. Would the seating and ride comfort be good enough? Alternatively, can you recommend another suitable vehicle of similar size?
The Panda 4x4 TwinAir and Panda Cross 4x4 TwinAir are great, but you had better check you can get comfortable first: http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/fiat/fiat-panda-cross-2014-road-test/ You could also consider the Peugeot 2008 1.2 PureTech 110or 130 with Grip Control: http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/peugeot/peugeot-2008-puretech-110-eat6-2016-road-test/ If 4WD capability is not important, then the best small car for tall people is the Citroen C3 Picasso, now available with 1.2 PureTech engines: http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/citroen/c3-picasso-2009/
Answered by Honest John

What does a Fiat Panda 4x4 (2012) cost?

Contract hire from £170.24 per month
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